German tech start-up Black Semiconductor has secured €254.4m ($274.9m) in public funding to propel the development of its graphene chip technology in Europe.  

This substantial investment is part of the IPCEI ME/CT2 programme, supported by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia over the next seven years. 

Apart from securing the public funds, Black Semiconductor has raised €25.7m in equity funding.  

The financing round was led by investors such as Porsche Ventures and Project A Ventures. 

It also saw participation from Scania Growth Capital, Tech Vision Fonds, Capnamic, and NRW.BANK and the company’s seed round investors – Cambium Capital, Vsquared Ventures, and Onsight Ventures, founded by Hermann Hauser, also contributed. 

The capital injection positions Black Semiconductor to realise its ambitious goal of transitioning a generation of chip technology from research to mass production by 2031.  

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Established in 2020 by Dr Daniel Schall and Sebastian Schall, the German startup is pioneering the use of graphene to create networks of chips that promise to revolutionise data communication speeds and energy efficiency. 

According to Black Semiconductor, Graphene’s properties enable these chip networks to reduce production steps by 60%, significantly lowering manufacturing costs.  

The company said its vision to achieve mass production of graphene semiconductors aligns with current industry standards. 

Black Semiconductor’s technology facilitates optical connections between chips, allowing for seamless interaction.  

This technology is said to have the potential to overcome the limitations of silicon chip architecture and catalyse transformative applications in various industries, from efficient data centres and embedded AI to autonomous vehicles. 

Daniel Schall said: “The investment enables us to drive our product development and 300mm wafer pilot production facility forward at full speed. As traditional chip technology moves closer to its technological and economic limits, our innovation paves the way for faster, more powerful, cost-efficient, and energy-efficient computation.”